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Family call for NHS scan results to be controlled

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

James Docherty from Airdrie was informed that he had terminal cancer more than a year after having scans taken. He received the scans in 2012 following health concerns, but was only informed of the cancer in 2013 when his family contacted his GP saying that they were still awaiting test results. Mr Docherty died in 2014.

2009 saw ministers create the target that no one should have to wait longer than 6 weeks to have key diagnostic tests performed. However, June of this year saw a total of 6,448 people wait longer — a four-fold increase in only two years. Patients have complained that where this target stands for receiving tests, there is no target in place concerning test results.

“If we had known sooner, would it have been operable?”

Mr Docherty’s daughter, Catherine Oliphant, voiced her anger over the delay in her father’s test results. She said:

There was no follow up, nothing. It was progressive, aggressive cancer. If he had known sooner, would it have been operable? Would he have had longer with chemotherapy? We’re never going to know.

The Scottish government has confirmed that a deadline for patients receiving scan/test results is currently being considered. They have also increased the number of consultant clinical radiologists by more than 40%. A spokesperson said that the reality of increased demand coupled with staff shortages, however, makes targets very difficult to reach.

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